Nico de Boinville celebrates winning the RSA Novices‚ Chase on Mite Bite
Might Bite, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Nico de Boinville, won a dramatic running of the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The former was a mile clear under Nico de Boinville, but a less-than-fluent leap at the last gave Whisper just a squeak.
Whisper then suddenly grew inspired along the run-in, whereas Might Bite – who fell at the final fence at Kempton on Boxing Day with a Grade One prize at his mercy – faltered as he hung badly to his right and was even headed.
De Boinville managed to correct his path with the aid of a loose horse and the Nicky Henderson-trained pair eventually flashed past the post in unison, but Might Bite (7-2 favourite) was announced the winner by a nose.
De Boinville said: "He did exactly the same in his hurdles run around here, the same thing happened. Without the loose horse I wouldn't have won.
"He's a thinker but he's so talented, he jumped for fun – he should have five or 10 lengths.
"It's great for the owners and great for guv'nor, he's having a great time of it. I kept faith with this horse, I can see why others might not!
"We'll see (if he is a Gold Cup horse), we might have to iron out a few issues, but he's definitely got the ability."
Henderson said: "What to make of it all? It just goes to show why you run two horses in a race."
Henderson went on: "You thought he'd done it all well and then he goes and does that.
"If you go back a couple of seasons when he came here as a novice over hurdles, he did exactly the same thing.
"Davy (Russell) has done everything right on Whisper. You could always see him creeping in there.
"You thought Might Bite might have got away, then Might Bite said 'come on'."